BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s off-the-road tire plant in Bloomington has reached a milestone: 55 years in operation.
The plant was opened by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1965 and continues to focus on Firestone-brand tires today. Employment stands at 450, including three who are sons of employees who were among those original plant employees.
Bridgestone is in the third year of $12 million investment to expand production of popular tire sizes, adding multiple sizes and patterns for 29-, 33- and 35-inch OTR tires that previously were produced in Japan.
Capacity at the plant is listed as 300 units a day, primarily bias-ply. Bridgestone added radial capacity at the plant in 2017.
Bloomington Plant Manager Jeremy Gray said the facility "holds a very unique and proud connection to the Bloomington community and place within the Bridgestone manufacturing footprint. This is a milestone that we are proud to reach thanks to the dedication of so many who have invested in our plant—first and foremost, our employees and retirees, as well as the ongoing support of our customers and the local community and state of Illinois."